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Louisiana prison's hospice program eases the dying

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Warden Burl Cain has said prison is for predators, not dying old men, but Louisiana’s tough sentencing laws mean a lot of old men die while incarcerated.

In Louisiana, rape, armed robbery and murder warrant life without parole, so in a maximum-security prison like the one Cain runs at Angola, the result is that 95 percent of inmates die in prison.

That sobering reality led Cain to launch a hospice program that trains specially screened inmates at the Louisiana State Penitentiary to care for their dying “brothers” and be with them in their final journey.

Head of Legion of Christ, Regnum Christi hands powers to vicar general

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Citing health concerns, the head of the Legionaries of Christ handed over his governing powers to the order's second highest official for an indefinite period of time.

Legionary Fr. Alvaro Corcuera made the announcement in a letter Tuesday posted on the congregation's website.

"I do not have the health and energy necessary to face responsibly the demands of the general governance in the present time," said Corcuera, who succeeded the late Fr. Marcial Maciel Degollado as general director of the order and its lay movement, Regnum Christi, in 2005.

Church's new doctor inspires woman's voice

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Devi Mathieu was traveling in Minnesota on Sunday, the day Pope Benedict XVI proclaimed Hildegard of Bingen as a doctor of the church.

Had she been at home in Sebastopol, Calif., Mathieu would have mixed up a batch of cinnamon-nutmeg cookies based on one of Hildegard's own recipes. Then she would have organized a special gathering of friends to celebrate the music of her favorite saint, an earth mystic, Benedictine abbess, wisdom teacher, "Sybil of the Rhine," author, healer and spiritual conscience for the patriarchy of her time.

NCR writers among Religion Newswriters Association honorees

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Several NCR writers received honors at the Religion Newswriters Association 2012 awards competition, held at the organization’s annual conference Oct. 4-6 in Bethesda, Md.

At the awards ceremony on the conference’s final night, NCR editor at large Tom Roberts received the top prize for his book The Emerging Catholic Church: A Community’s Search for Itself, named the Nonfiction Book of the Year.

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July 18-31, 2014

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